Watch: Macron Slapped in Face During Tour of France

French president whacked while greeting crowd

Image Credits: Screenshot / Twitter.

French President Emmanuel Macron received an unpleasant welcome during a tour of a village in the department of Drome, southeastern France on Tuesday, with an unidentified man slapping him in the face as he approached local residents to shake hands.

The incident was caught on camera, with a bearded man wearing glasses and a face mask slapping the president hard on his left cheek. Macron’s security detail immediately rushed in to detain the man, with local gendarmerie also stepping in to assist.

Elysee Palace later confirmed to local media that the incident took place, and indicated that two people were arrested in connection with the altercation.

It’s not immediately clear what specific grievances prompted the man to attack Macron, with the individual shouting “Down with Macronie!” shortly before slapping the president.

French media later described the attacker as an “anarchist.”

The embattled French leader, who has seen his approval rating drop from 48 percent to 38 percent over the last two years, and fell behind opposition politician and National Rally leader Marine Le Pen in polling ahead of next year’s presidential election, was assaulted during his ‘Tour of France’ campaign, a pre-election ‘meet-the-people’ event set to last much of the summer.

The French are set to head to the polls for regional elections later this month.

Commenting on the incident later Tuesday, Prime Minister Jean Castex decried the act of violence.

“Politics can in no way be about violence, verbal aggression, much less physical aggression…we are all concerned, this concerns the foundations of our democracy,” Castex said, speaking at a session of the National Assembly.

Le Pen echoed the prime minister’s sentiments, tweeting that acts of violence against the president were “unacceptable.”

“Although democratic debate can be bitter, it can by no means tolerate physical violence. I strongly condemn the unacceptable physical aggression targeting the President of the Republic,” Le Pen wrote.

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